4 September 2017

Botswana: Best Yet to Come for Amos

Gaborone — Nijel Amos is the first Botswana athlete to win the country an Olympic medal during the 2012 London Olympic Games at the age of 18 years.

Following the win, Batswana expected him to win every race before him. But that was not the case as he finished the 2013 season at home nursing a quad-muscle tear injury.

When he went back to the track, he came back strong winning Diamond Trophy in 2014 and Commonwealth Games gold medal, and won yet another Diamond trophy in 2015.

Although some athletics pundits lost hope in him after failing to make it to the podium finish during the 15th IAAF World Championships in Beijing 2016, London Olympic Games and recently in London, some are however of the view that Amos has a lot to offer the country.

Again in 2016, he sustained yet another injury and he was out for a while, which made him to miss a lot of training.

Feeling the pressure took a bold decision and relocated to Oregon Track Club in United States of America under the watchful eye of coach Mark Rowland so as to bring his glory days back.

And his relocaion seems to be paying dividend. Under Rowland, Amos has changed his running tactics and he completed the 2017 Diamond League circuit with a clean sheet, winning all his races before being crowned the Diamond League 800 metres champion.

In total, this year alone he competed in eight races, won six and lost two . At the Rome Diamond League meet, he tripped and fell and during the World Championships finals he could not attain a podium finish and those are the only two races that the Marobela born has lost.

However his coach, is not worried about, Amos' past. He said in an interview that priority now is to evaluate properly over the next month to review what their focus points will be for the athlete to develop after their first year together.

"Diamond league is great but medals at championships is what we should be targeting," he said.

Botswana National Olympic Committee, chief executive officer, Tuelo Serufho said he was confident that Amos still has a lot to offer for the country and age was still of his side.

He said Amos had improved compared to other seasons adding that this year alone he had recorded impressive times that he struggled to record in 2016.

"Look at the CAA African Senior Championship. Yes he won a gold medal but his time was not impressive. As BNOC we are happy that he is improving his times and he is more focused and hungry for success," he said.

Former Botswana Athletics Association secretary general, Kabaitse Legojane also said Amos had a lot to offer given that he looked better this season compared to other seasons.

He said since winning the 2012 Olympic Games silver medal, he had been blowing hot and cold due to injuries.

He said looking at the athlete's current form and determination, he was up for the challeng and he was still favoured by his age.

He said Amos would shock the world in the coming seasons, given that he had age plus training in US where sports science, technology and coaching was blended to get the best out of an athlete.

Kebaitse said again Amos had only three months with his new coach and within a short period of time they managed to achieve a lot of things .

Therefore he was confident that with more time together, the best was yet to come for the local athlete.

"Nijel does not struggle anymore to run. Forget about London because there besides the pressure attributed to such championship he was let down by marking the Kenyan fellow who frustrated him the whole race by pushing him out and forgot other competitors.

So in a nut shell yes he still has a lot to offer in the next few years," he said.

Source : BOPA

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